Alice buried her head into her chest and didn’t speak, while the man besides her wore a complicated expression. Only when Claire and Leng Lingyun walked up to them did he turn to stare at Claire intently, without moving a finger.
“Alice Roman, the Divine Princess and I both saw what happened this time clearly. You wanted to hurt Claire. I think I will have to ask the emperor to take care of this matter!” Leng Lingyun’s voice was cold without warmth.
“No, don’t, Divine Prince.” Alice raised her head in fright, her expression panicked, fear in her eyes. She knew she went over the top this time. Claire was famous right now, not only part of the Hill Clan but also Master Cliff’s disciple. Nobody that wanted to take her life would be let off the hook easily.
“Don’t say anything. Let’s go see the emperor now.” Leng Lingyun’s face was cold, his voice suggesting no further discussion.
Xueqin Liu’s expression was fluid. This was the first time Lingun Leng cared so much for another person. In Liu Xueqing’s heart, Leng Lingyun never gave a second glance to a person, not to mention be so involved in their business. But now he spent so much time and effort on this lowly castellan, even visiting the emperor for her! Was it only because Xuanxuan liked this blonde-haired girl? Was it only because of that?
Right at this time, a figure descended from the sky. It was the still sleepy Cliff. He was woken up by the thunder, and suddenly remembered he had seen it before. He suspected it had something to do with Claire, so he hurried over. Behind Cliff, the red-robed cardinal from the Temple of Light was also there — Lawrence. A few people were also hurrying over from the city gates, attracted by the thunder.
Alice watched the gathering people, her face getting whiter and whiter. She knew that everything was over this time.
“Why are you here?” Cliff landed and demanded of Lawrence, who landed behind him.
“The same reason why you are here.” Lawrence shrugged his shoulders, looked at Leng Lingyun and Claire, and walked up smilingly.
“Ah, Claire, why are you here?” Lawrence patted Claire’s head familiarly. Cliff regarded him with hostility; is that dumb old man still trying to persuade Claire to become his disciple?
“Greetings, Master Lawrence. I was out walking my beast, saw an abnormality in the sky, and so I came over to investigate. But I got sneaked-attacked by Alice. The Divine Prince happened to be nearby and rescued me.” Claire frowned, a hint of innocence in her voice.
“What?!” As expected, Lawrence knitted his brows and shouted, “Lingyun, is that what happened?”
“Yes, Master. I saw them attacking Claire when I arrived.” Leng Lingyun answered calmly.
“You dare to hurt my disciple! Looking for certain death?” A sharp roar sounded behind Lawrence. The people turned their heads to see Cliff in a rage, ready to fight.
“You’re not young anymore, but you still behave like this.” Lawrence’s face was scrunched up. This old fella was still so protective, fighting without regard to the situation or the people. There was a group a people coming close fast. Killing those two under such circumstances would be bringing trouble on himself. Only Lingyun saw them trying to hurt Claire, and Claire was perfectly fine. But if Cliff started throwing punches, those people coming would see. Then it would be hard to explain in front of the emperor.
“You want shield those two?” Cliff face was even more scrunched up than Lawrence’s as he asked angrily.
“They’re both descendants of important ministers in court, so it would be best for the emperor to take over. The emperor his majesty would not be partial to anyone, and Lingyun and Xueqing will tell everything to the him.” Lawrence had survived for many years between the temple and the court, so he knew the best way to do things.
Cliff frowned at Lawrence but kept quiet.
“Master, what Master Lawrence said makes sense. I trust the the emperor his majesty would give me justice.” Claire tried to comfort Cliff.
“Okay then.” Cliff agreed reluctantly, then gave Alice a hard stare. It scared Alice and she lowered her head immediately.
More than a few people came from the city. Some saw Cliff, Lawrence, the Divine Prince and Princess, and exclaimed out loud. With these people present, the abnormality earlier wouldn’t seem strange. It must have been created by them. When Claire saw those people, she let out a breath. She wanted them to misinterpret.
In the group of people, one man and woman looked towards Claire. Both of them were blond with blue eyes, their beautiful appearances overlooked under the circumstances: everyone was gazing at Cliff, Lawrence, and the Divine Prince and Princess from the Temple of Light. These famous people attracted all their attention.
“What do you think?” The blonde man with blue eyes asked the blonde woman with blue eyes.
“Don’t know if it’s because I dislike her, but I keep thinking the abnormality earlier is related to her.” The golden-haired woman with blue irises answered in a low voice.
“I would rather it be that you dislike that girl. But your sixth sense is almost always correct.”The blonde man with blue irises joked.
The blonde woman became silent, squinting at Claire.
“Whatever, don’t stray off, we’ll leave as soon as we find that thing.” The golden-haired man reminded.
“The problem is, there’s still no sign of it! Someone was faster than me and now I don’t know where that thing is.” The golden-haired woman with blue irises was angry.
“Don’t worry too much. I have that on me all time now, so if the other one comes close to us, there would be a reaction.” The blonde-haired man comforted, then added, “Don’t worry, it has to be in this city.”
“Yeah, I hope.” The woman with blue-eyes was a little disconsolate. Only if they found that thing could they revive their clan! Because of this goal, they must find it!
“Let’s go now, we should visit the emperor.” Cliff looked at Alice and the man besides her coldly.
Claire called the wind leopard to her side, and went and picked up White Emperor from the stone. The Divine Princess’ gaze fell on the fur ball in Claire’s arms, confusion in her eyes. Why did that little fur ball look familiar? Claire didn’t notice Liu Xueqing’s thoughtful glances towards White Emperor.
This early morning was destined not to be peaceful.
The younger generation of the Roman Clan wanted to hurt the popular Claire Hill. This information soon made its way throughout the whole capital, and everyone followed the news closely.
Right now, the emperor was sitting on his throne, looking at the two old men standing beneath him with a headache. One energetic, the other decadent. Besides them stood the still angry Cliff and the calm Lawrence. The Divine Prince Leng Lingyun and the Divine Princess Liu Xueqing were also present. And Claire, Alice, and Alice’s cousin stood at the back silently.
The energetic one was naturally Duke Hill, and the decadent one was Duke Roman. Duke Roman was howling inside, hating his granddaughter for not listening to him. He had warned her before not to offend the Hill people, but now not only did she offended them, she was also caught by so many powerful people. With so many witnesses it was impossible to deny.
“My heart aches for what happened. Both of you are pillars of the country, and the girls are the future pillars for the country, but now this has happened…… ” The emperor said, pained. He knew he had to do something this time. This wasn’t a fair duel between two people, nor a fuss made by an angry child, but attempted murder!
“Your majesty, I…… ” Duke Roman wanted to say something.
Cliff shot an icy glare at him and said angrily, “Duke Roman, your granddaughter wasn’t horsing around with my disciple, but attempting to kill her! This is murder, murder! Does sir Roman understand what this word means?” Cliff shouted furiously, his “sir” extremely mocking. As a duke of the country, could Duke Roman not understand what the word murder means?
Duke Roman’s face paled instantly. He knew what that word meant. And if Alice was found guilty of this charge, her future would be hard to say.
Duke Gordon was silent throughout the whole thing. Even though creating enemies in court wasn’t a wise move, but that didn’t mean the the Hill Clan was a sitting duck for anyone to shoot. He already let last time’s duel go, but they wanted to kill Claire this time! But it looked like he didn’t need to say anything. Cliff would settle everything with the emperor since he’s so protective.
The emperor looked at the angry Cliff and the cold faces of the rest, sighing in his heart. Alice could offend anyone, but she chose to try to murder to Claire. Now even the Temple of Light was here as a witness. If he didn’t settle this according to the law, not only would Duke Hill be upset, the Temple of Light and Cliff would also be cross.
“Lock Alice Roman into jail, and hang her after the trial.” The emperor closed his eyes, not looking at Duke Roman’s expression.
Duke Gordon was expressionless, and all the others were also calm. Alice’s pupils dilated, but then she closed her eyes. She couldn’t blame anyone except herself, for not listening to her grandfather, offending someone she couldn’t afford to offend. Her death was nothing; she just hoped this wouldn’t affect the clan.
Duke Roman’s face became as white a sheet, and he suddenly kneeled down on the ground: “Your majesty, please have mercy. I would rather resign my position as the Secretary of Treasury. Please have mercy.” Alice, who was standing in the back, raised her head when she heard this. She watched Duke Roman with shock and pain. Her own grandfather was doing this for her!
The emperor abruptly opened his eyes, his brows knotted together. He stared at the old man kneeling on the floor, anger flitting through his eyes. He was going to resign for this?
“Good! Very good! Now you even dare threaten me, huh?” The emperor stood up abruptly, glaring at the old man kneeling before him.
“I don’t dare, I just really care for my granddaughter.” Duke Roman said fearfully, but with no intention of getting up. Regret and pain flashed across Alice’s eyes. She wanted to rush up, but was stopped by her elder cousin.
“Very good. That being the case, I will fulfill your wishes. From today on, you are no longer the Secretary of Treasury. And you are no longer a duke, but a baron. Alice shall never in her life be granted any titles. Every person in the Roman clan that holds a public position shall have their positions lowered three levels!” The emperor was really angry. This was the first time any minister dared threaten him like that.
Duke Gordon squinted and kept silent. Being near the emperor so many years, he knew what the emperor was like. The emperor’s authority was not to be challenged by anyone. Didn’t Duke Roman understand this?
“I accept. Thank you your majesty for pardoning Alice.” Duke Roman stood up, faltering. He seemed to have aged ten years in that one moment.
The emperor humphed coldly, then looked at Duke Gordon, “Duke Hill, are you satisfied with my arrangement?”
“I am.” Duke Gordon lowered his head and answered softly.
“Humph!” The emperor shot a glance at Duke Roman, who still had his head down, then left the room without considering the presence of other people. Under such circumstances, naturally no one minded the emperor’s attitude.
Duke Gordon was secretly celebrating in his heart. Now that the position of Secretary of Treasury was empty, he must get someone he trusted up to that position.
Claire watched as Alice rushed up to help Duke Roman leave, numerous emotions crossing her mind. For that one second Claire was jealous of Alice. She had a grandfather that was willing to give his life to protect her. In self-interest motivated big families like theirs, true affections were very precious.
So Alice and her cousin helped Duke Roman to the door slowly. When Alice stepped through the entrance, she turned her head and looked at Claire profoundly.
Claire understood that expression.
Deep hate. It was a hate that was engraved into the bone!
A hate where either you die or I perish!